Federal News Countdown: Top stories of 2011

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown were
Jolie Lee, digital news writer, Federal News Radio
Justin Udo, producer, Federal News Radio

Jolie’s stories
#3 Moran’s objections to BRAC move confirmed in new DoD IG report

The worsening traffic in northern Virginia is confirming Rep. Jim Moran’s warnings about the Defense Department’s decision to move 6,400 to the Mark Center in Alexandria, Va.

Moran (D-Va.) had objected the move that he said would further exacerbate traffic in the area. Now the Pentagon’s inspector general is issuing a report this week concluding the Army used flawed traffic data to make its case for locating workers to complex along Interstate 395.

#2 USPS financial rescue may not stop ‘death spiral’

Some members of Congress are poised to give the Postal Service some relief to its crushing financial requirements. But it’s far from a done deal.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the U.S. Postal Service Improvements Act of 2011 (S. 353) Feb. 15. The ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee introduced a similar bill last session of Congress.

#1 Supercommittee’s failure to reach deal brings range of reactions

The rumblings began early Monday morning. The Congressional supercommittee — born out of last summer’s debt ceiling legislation and tasked with cutting at least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit — was deadlocked and would fail to reach a deal.

Justin’s stories
#3 White House draft bill expands DHS cyber responsibilities

Under a White House plan, the Homeland Security Department will have far-reaching oversight over all civilian agency computer networks.

The proposal would codify much of the administration’s memo from July 2010 expanding DHS’s cyber responsibilities for civilian networks.

#2 USPS warns of default on retiree benefits

The U.S. Postal Service will begin to default on its financial obligations just over four months from now unless Congress takes action to relieve it of its obligation to pre-fund retiree health care accounts, its leader told lawmakers Tuesday.

#1 DoD: Another continuing resolution could threaten thousands of jobs

Budget planners in every branch of the Service are hoping Congress does not pass another continuing resolution on March 4.

We’re already one-third of the way through fiscal 2011 – and the Pentagon – like the rest of government – is trapped in last year’s spending plan. That means the government can’t launch new programs, and eventually, will run out of money to pay troops.

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